I wrote a mothers day post in my head while shivering in the rain at Grant’s ball game on Saturday. It was flowery and sweet and probably would have made you cry and then go call your mom. But it’ll have to wait until next year because in the midst of duct tape flowers and hot oatymeal in bed, there was a coon attacking the chickens and he’s consumed our attention. As I write it’s 10:42 and Dan is out in the pouring rain hot on its trail and protecting the Kevins. I’m laying in bed, looking for an antique signet ring on ebay and letting him blow off some testosterone. When he comes in I’ll tell him he’s the only man for me and then he’ll strike a match on his five o’clock stubble, light an unfiltered cigarette and settle in for a Rambo marathon. I thought briefly about joining the hunt, but if I’ve learned anything in two years of chicken farming it’s that I hate chickens. Ambivalent feelings aside, we’ve now lost five hens in three days. We baited a live trap with a dead hen and caught a raccoon. He was wicked pissed. Until Dan shot him. Then he was just dead. I made the kids swear not to say anything at the bus stop since one of our neighbors is an animal lover and is so sweet she’d likely climb our trees looking to see if the dead coon had babies she could feed with a dropper. I once saw her pick up a freshly killed opossum from the road by its tail and check its pouch for babies she could rescue. She’s that sweet. I just stood there swallowing vomit and trying not to cheer that there was one less of those nasty creatures in the world. I’m a wus. And I’m not particularly fond of animals either. So, instead of flowery words of praise about mothers, you get killed chickens and the mental picture of all my sweet babies watching from the deck as daddy shot that nasty coon, while I stood in the kitchen trying to choke down an egg as i remembered waking up Sunday morning to the hens cannibalizing their sister. I let the slippery mess slide off my plate and asked Dan to just throw the eggs in the woods for the next few days. Until then I’m sticking with oatymeal and googling how to make a coon skin cap for Peter. And Dan is standing by the window in our room dripping wet and shaking his head, muttering something about kingdom come. And I know I’ve said it before, but this is a weird place to live. This place where the natives only eat asparagus so it’ll make their pee stink and where traps are checked before anything else in the morning and where a bunch of hens can wake up and see a fallen sister and in the absence of rational thought, could think only to eat her. whaaaa? This is me being real. Down to 16 birds. Swearing off eggs until I’m sure it’s all out of their system. Thankful that my kids are getting an education in country living at 10, 8, 6 and 2 that I’m just now getting at 37. And wondering if that’s something I really should be thankful for?